Does it get any better?

My dad had a stroke a week and a half ago and he still seems very confused and talks about things which make no sense at all, like he's made it up. It is difficult to have a proper conversation with him any more. My mum is devastated as am I and my sister. Will this get any better?

Hi Kaz. You do not say how old Dad is, but a week and a half is very,very early. He has undergone a major trAuma and recovery takes time. I am 18 months on from mine. In the beginning, I felt half dead and had to be hoisted in and out of bed. I could not walk or use my left. With effort and support, I learnt to walk again and to stabilise my hand and arm. I now walk with a stick and can bake, make jam, change my bed and so a little ironing. Reassure and encourage Dad all you can. He will get better in many ways, but it is a hard journey. Look out for Mum too, and yourself. Welcome to forum. We are all survivors here and will support you all we can. Please tell Dad we are thinking about him, and you and Mum. All the best!

Thanks for your lovely message John. They mean so much at a time like this. My dad is 78 in a couple of weeks. It's hard to see someone who you love so much go through such an ordeal and seeing my mum hurt too is heartbreaking. I am encouraged however by your posting and am pleased to hear that you have recovered so well. Long may it last. Thanks again.

Dear Kaz
Sorry to hear of Dads stroke.
I wish you all well.
Assuming Dad is already medically stable, then things get better, yes they get a lot better.
I was aged 68 and it paralysed me, just had my right hand working. I couldn't cope with conversations for a week or two. Probably my brain was too busy repairing some damage and working around the dead bits.
I am now 21 months and get up a step ladder, drive short distances and I tend the garden. I have a very long garden.
No two strokes are the same but there are many common features.
It is a long and slow process.
Do come back and ask. There is masses to learn. And do let us know how Dad gets along. Wish him well from me

Thanks Colin, that's good to know. I'm glad you have recovered so well. It's so nice and reassuring when I hear from people that have been through this as it is so hard to see my previously fit and happy dad sitting in hospital looking into space at times and telling stories that can only be dreams as they make no sense. I will definitely post dads progress and would like to thank you again for your post and support.

Kaz, To reassure you a bit more, I can remember almost nothing of my first two weeks. I can remember falling over, but not the ambulance ride to A&E with blues and twos going. I could speak, but everything was other worldly. It was only after a fortnight, that I began to relate to my surrounds. You can hallucinate and have odd dreams in this period. It is a very fearful and scary time.

John reminds me of what some of the early days were like. I had hallucinations although the staff said this was unusual. But I loved the hallucinations ! I had floral and colourful ceilings and people talking to me who weren't there. I had great fun working out the body of a doctor with the head from the tea lady. Now this was great for me, but I wonder how that would look to a visitor. And my imaginery figures didn't talk in sound, so it was relaxing.
Some of my fellow patients were in tears, which upset me. Later I realized this is a normal part of stroke, tears appear.

Thanks again for your posts. Saw dad today and he seemed in quite good form , mind only starting to wander as he got tired. He has had tears, as have we (plenty of them with my mum and sister) and other stroke patients in the ward have had them too. Hate seeing people of all ages getting upset. Just want to hug them all and tell them it's going to be alright.

Kaz, having gone through the 'tears' stage, I can assure you that they don't need consoling. It is just a totally uncontrollable, embarrassing explosion. I would have them even being visited by people I didn't particularly like! To have a pleasant thought would do exactly the same. Even after two and a half years I am not completely cured of this problem and have to be very careful with my emotions.
Glad Dad is showing signs of improvement though. The tiredness is another thing that doesn't go away easily and the only relief is rest.

Kaz, It is likely that Dad will experience post stroke fatigue. I still have it after eighteen months. It does ease with time and is something which cannot be explained. It is thought to be the damaged brain needing time to rest and repair. Dad must listen to his body and rest. The feeling cannot be described. I am fine in the morning, but around noon, a terrible heaviness comes over me. I have bed rest for an hour from 1.30pm, and can then function reasonably. I usually drift into sleep. It hit me on my second day out of hospital, but back then I slept for about four hours!

Unlike many others, I never cried. I 'accepted' the stroke and focused on trying to recover. After a stroke, you are never the person you were, but you can still have a reasonable quality of life. Frustration at what you cannot do is inevitable, but it isn't all bad.




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